Short Takes

October 2008 Issue

Short Takes: 10/08

In a recent issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA Vol. 233, Number 4), the article, "Evaluation of inciting causes, alternative targets and risk factors associated with redirected aggression in cats," describes a typical case of redirected aggression like this: Your indoor cat is watching through the window. Along comes a neighborhood cat, which makes your cat really mad. Suddenly, your normally sweet pet attacks you instead. Redirected aggression is one of the most commonly reported problems to animal-behavior experts, who take the problem seriously: "Bites from aggressors are uninhibited, attacks are usually difficult to stop, and aggressors typically remain highly aroused long after the inciting event is over," according to the JAVMA report. Sometimes all it takes is a loud noise to trigger an episode of redirected (also called displaced) aggression. (For more information on cat fights, please see related article on page 3 of this issue.)

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